It’s a classic tale of east versus west. Old school vs. new school. In the world of wine, the U.S. West Coast seems to dominate the game with its bold styles, vibrant labels and young hitters. The region continually pushes the envelope, redefining itself and its flavor.
However, most tend to forget where it all originated from. They overlook the roots and where the style was created. Those who established the foundation they stand on. While it currently seems West Coast wineries and winemakers are the only thing defining what wine is in America, the East Coast is where it all began and deserves a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
A few American classics & up-and-coming names we should all recognize:
Dr. Konstantin Frank, Finger Lakes, New York Founded in 1962, this winery is older than most American wineries. Dr. Konstantin Frank created world-class wines, especially sparkling wine, utilizing fruit found only in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York. Some of the most bomb bubbles you can find for under $30.
Lenz Winery, North Fork Long Island, New York Lenz sits on the same lateral line as the finest chateaus of Bordeaux. As a result, they produce some of the best Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot America has to offer. Their claim to fame is the infamous “Pétrus Tasting”, where they blind their wines against the most expensive wine in the world: Chateau Pétrus ($4,000). Let's just say….M’erica!
Barboursville, Monticello, Virginia “We could, in the United States, make as great a variety of wines as are made in Europe. Not exactly of the same kinds, but doubtless as good.”- Thomas Jefferson. The 3rd U.S. President also happened to plant some of the first vines in the United States back in 1771, right here in Monticello. Barboursville highlights the grapes of this region and is quickly becoming a world renowned winery.
Amalthea Cellars, New Jersey Amalthea has been in the game jut as long as the heavy hitters of Napa Valley. Focusing on Chardonnay, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, these Jersey boys are throwing some serious shade! The wines have beaten some of the best vino in France and continue to make people rethink where quality wine comes from. The armpit of America isn’t so smelly after all.
Brooklyn Winery, New York Located in the heart of Brooklyn, BKW is doing some BIG things! They create wine in an urban space yet source fruit from some of the finest vineyards New York has to offer. The urban winery concept is turning the wine scene upside down. Keep an eye out for these wines. They are bound to be hitting the top of the charts soon.
Your #SommNextDoor: Nicholas Ducos. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a Certified Sommelier, Nicholas has worked in many prestigious restaurants in Miami, Florida. As a chef and as a sommelier, he is dedicated to creating a memorable dining experience and making wine relatable to others in a witty yet refined style. Nicholas is currently traveling the world learning the art of winemaking and plans to create his own label in the near future. Follow Nicholas's latest adventures through his website and Instagram.